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Avocets hatching

Avocet attacking a Mallard and duckling, South Lake - M.J.McGill.

The breeding Avocets have had rather a torrid time this Spring, predation has been heavy from Carrion Crows and Herring Gulls in particular but two colonies managed to establish at typically favoured sites at South Lake and the 'Rushy'. On South Lake we've had up to 31 nests occupied with 16 on the Rushy, the latter site has seen chicks been hatching steadily from late last week, at least nine broods so far with a peak count of 24 chicks on 11 June. Sadly, the three broods that have hatched at South Lake so far appear to have been predated. We hope each pair manages to get a few more chicks beyond the most vulnerable stage in the next week or so. We have 24 nests yet to hatch on South Lake and around eight on the Rushy.

The parents are defending against would-be predators and harmless by-standers alike as they brood and tend to their young. The cold winds probably hasn't helped them this last week, some very cold nights has probably reduced insect activity on the muddy edges. The Rushy Hide and Discovery Hides are the best places to view the breeding birds although Avocets can be seen on any of the scrapes. We have around 130 adults on site.

Other sightings today include the following

Middle Point

Two Sanderling, single Ringed Plover and Dunlin and 12 Curlew noted at low tide, 60+ Shelduck and 20+ Lapwing also on the mudflats. At high tide 7 Ringed Plover were on the Dumbles foreshore. The male White-spotted Bluethroat showed early morning and again at least twice between 1300 and 1340hrs, singing from various perches, it's very mobile. Almost hourly sightings all day yesterday.

South Lake

Displaying Great Crested Grebes, 24 Black-tailed Godwit, nesting Avocets, two pairs of Oystercatcher including a pair with three newly hatched chicks yesterday, singing Sedge Warbler near the Sanderson bridge.

Rushy Hide/Peng Observatory

A 'super-brood' of Tufted Ducklings on the lower pond, the female keeping the chicks close to the edge of the lake under the vegetation, perhaps 13 ducklings in tow. Single drake Teal and Pochard plus the moulting flock of Gadwall.

Tack Piece

Two Great and a Little Egret on the scrape with Kingfisher seen from Robbie Garnett and Martin Smith Hides. The Snow x Bar-headed Goose hybrid is back and among the Barnacle Geese.


A showy ringed Sedge Warbler plus Reed Warblers for company.


A few Red Kite sightings today but three together over the centre at one point.

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